The Glen Fruin Circuit

May 1999
40 km

I did not have a camera back then, I am afraid. So no pictures from that tour. But click on the button below to open up Google Maps.
Enter "Dumbarton" in the search field & Google Earth for xtra pictures

I was living in Alexandria outside Dumbarton at that time and this is one of the more natural bikerides in that area and a must do.

I set off from my flat in Alexandria on this sunny morning up to Balloch. I headed up Loch Lomond past Cameron House and Duck Bay to the roundabout at Arden. I took the Balloch to Helensburgh road (A 818) up the hill to it reached a crossroad. I continued straight through the crossroad and up a very steep hill to the start of Glen Fruin proper. A short descent into the valley followed before I reached the pretty flat road taking me into the head of the valley. At the head, the road went into a pretty vertical climb until it reached the top of this mountain pass between Glen Fruin and Garelochhead deep below. Normally, this means a descent to Garelochhead. But I had noticed a short cut over a small not so well guarded 200 meters long closed road which took me along the ridge over to the main Glen Fruin Road (A 817). I sprinted over and reached this main road. The views was brilliant and I took them in. Whilst the road up Glen Fruin was down in the valley on a narrow road, the Glen Fruin Road (A 817) is a new road meant to serve the naval base at Garelochhead. It has been put up in the hillside and is boring as heck. The views are nice, the bikeriding boring which starts with a vertical descent into a gully and a vertical climb out of it on the other side. The ride along the valley is flat and uninspiring. This road has a sting in the tail with a steep climb out of the hillside again and up to a new hill high above Loch Lomond. Nice views; very dull bikeriding. I was bored almost senseless by now and glad to reach the descent down to Loch Lomond again. I reached the main A 82 again and followed this road past Arden and Balloch down to my flat again.


A bikeride in two halves. The ride on the small road down in Glen Fruin is very good. The return leg is very dull, although blessed with some excellent views. Do I recommend this ride ? No. It is too dull and not worthy the bother.